What? Vulnerability? Yikes! “Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and unworthiness but it is also the birthplace of love and belongingness” (Brown again). So is she saying that when I meet someone, I have to start in on the very things I’m ashamed about aka the last things I want to be talking about? Yup. Does it take courage? Damn right. I like her term even better--'wholeheartedness.' ”People who are wholehearted have the courage to be imperfect, compassion toward self first then others, and they have connection which they found through authenticity. They fully embrace vulnerability--they believe what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful.”
Ever had that moment where you risked talking to someone (usually a close friend, rarely a new acquaintance) about something vulnerable, something that went wrong in life, something you feel like you failed at, then had that realization after sharing that you actually feel closer to that person? Try it sometime. Powerful stuff. Remember, this is not our tendency. Instead we want to numb our fears--the pain, the shame, the vulnerability--with substances, food, technology, you name it. But we cannot numb the fear without numbing the joy, happiness, and gratitude.
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Or we lash out with blame. Brown’s research defines blame: “A way to discharge pain and discomfort.” It is so much harder to sit with it and much easier to project it. Sitting in it and even being transparent about it--vulnerability--is the very thing that builds the connection that we desire more than anything.
Thoughts? Share them below, and of course I always love hearing from you directly. A lot of this post is directly from Brene Brown’s video on Ted, don’t miss it.